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Moldova Car Blast Kills Tennis Chief

Moldovan officers investigating the scene of a blast Tuesday in Chisinau. Valerii Corcimari

The head of Moldova's tennis federation died of wounds sustained when a parked car blew up on Tuesday in central Chisinau as he walked by, police and doctors said.

The explosion took place outside the federation's headquarters in an area of the city close to several government buildings and the headquarters of the state security service.

Igor Turcan, the federation president, was taken to the hospital where he died from serious injuries, said Liviu Vovc, head of Moldova's emergency rescue service.

Interior Ministry spokesman Chiril Motpan said the cause of the explosion had not been established though a gas cylinder in the car may have exploded.

A senior federation official, however, said a deliberate attempt on Turcan's life could not be ruled out.

"The explosion happened just as the tennis federation's president had parked his car and was walking to his office," said federation vice president Marina Tauber.

He sustained wounds to his body and legs, doctors said.

Apart from his post at the tennis federation, Turcan headed a campaign effort for an independent candidate in last weekend's election for Chisinau's mayor.

Election officials, meanwhile, said Tuesday that no candidate won more than 50 percent in Sunday's vote and scheduled a second round for June 19, Interfax reported.

Pro-Russian Communist candidate Igor Dodon, who won 48.07 percent of the vote, will face off against the incumbent, Dorin Chirtoaca, who placed second with 46.51 percent.

Elections were also held in hundreds of towns across Moldova on Sunday in a test for a pro-European alliance that came to power in November.

The Communists won more votes than any other single party, with 32.7 percent of the vote, down 7 percent from what they received in November parliamentary elections.

The three-party governing coalition won about 57.4 percent of all the cast votes Sunday.

(Reuters, MT, AP)

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